West Indies v Australia, 4th ODI, Gros Islet March 24, 2012

Pollard delighted at home hundred


Kieron Pollard has described his match-winning century in St Lucia as "a delight" after West Indies took an unbeatable 2-1 lead over Australia. The visitors can level the series with victory in the fifth match on Sunday but should West Indies take the game it will be their first series win over Australia since 1995, and they would jump ahead of New Zealand into seventh place on the ICC rankings.

West Indies have found themselves in such a good position thanks to Pollard's 102 from 70 balls, a fine innings considering he came in at No. 6, in the 26th over. Pollard made his one-day international debut five years ago but this was just his second ODI century, his first having come against India in Chennai in December 2011.

"Today I told everyone I would look to bat through [to the end of innings] and look to put the team in a winning position," Pollard said. "It didn't happen in the game before when we ended with a tie, but it happened today. We played well and we deserve this victory.

"I've been around for a little while now but I would say I'm still learning. Getting my second hundred for West Indies and my first in the Caribbean is a delight for me and for the team. It is a stepping stone for me. Each game, each performance, is a learning experience and this is one that I will take forward with me - batting for the team and being there until the end.

"Getting 294 today was a huge plus. We had them in a position where they had to be going at over five runs per over, close to six, and that was always going to be difficult. We kept getting wickets at the right time and that kept them under pressure."

Australia's captain Shane Watson said Pollard had batted exceptionally well but Australia also helped him with poor bowling and three missed opportunities in the field. In reply, Australia could not find a big score from any of their top-order players and the chase faded out despite half-centuries from David Hussey and Brett Lee.

"There was definitely a bit of individual brilliance from Kieron Pollard, there's no doubt about that," Watson said. "His striking was very impressive. But there's no doubt it's not good enough for us. We didn't execute enough, didn't go to the plan to be able to make sure we're able to try and restrict him as much as we could.

"It's a small ground so with his power it's always keeping him in the game but dropping him three times certainly didn't help, as well as our execution in the last ten overs or so. We've got to sit down and make sure we get it right for the next game because we can't afford to be in the position that we were and then let Kieron get away the way we did. In the end it meant we were chasing a much bigger total than we should have been."

The result has given West Indies a fine opportunity to secure their first one-day series win over anyone but Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the Associates in four years. Pollard said the fight shown by the hosts had been impressive.

"The Australians have come pretty hard at us, but one good thing is that we have not backed down," Pollard said. "Every time they come at us we hit right back at them. The fans and the public are behind us, backing us, and when we show that we are not going to back down, no matter what, it shows that we have a strength in the team, a belief in ourselves and what we can do.

"A series win against a higher ranked team like Australia would be great, not only for the players, but also for the fans who come out and support us. Hopefully on Sunday we can go out there and do the job for each and every one of them. Their support means a lot to us."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    the key difference this series, should be Sunil Narine..clearly his mystery has been too much for Australia, and they have not been able to work him away at all, apart from losing wickets.. building pressure on themselves..esle has been pretty even. great finale set up..given Sunil Narine's influence, WI to win series..

  • Dummy4 on March 25, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    All of a sudden he could play tests, he is the next Viv Richards.Pollards knock was brilliant but let us not be to over zealous fr time being. I am happy to see that the critics of Darren Sammy has somewhat let up. As for the Gayle issue we first need to know whether Gayle is interested in playing for WI. There are no firm guarantees that Gayle would make much of a difference as Gayle has been a fixture in WI cricket for a hell of a long time and certainly has not been as sensational as he is played out to be.......at least not for WI

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    WI have one of the best bowling & fielding ODI units in world cricket. Our batting is the problem. Every time we make runs we win. Pollard has improved, his shot selection is much better, this is a good sign. Now could u tell me the difference between that knock & what Gayle gives us? Pollard is almost 10yrs younger than Gayle. WI have the talent, we just need patience. The boys will make us proud again. Trust me.

  • Swapnoneel on March 24, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    he should consider playing tests asap.

  • CricFreak on March 24, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    What a player ! I love this guy!! So level headed, so calm. Has great attitude for a player who is so agressive with his bat in hand. He is known as team player wherever he plays, India/Australia/England for T20s. He will only get better! All the Best Pollard !!

  • Nick on March 24, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    I grew up watching the WIndies dismantle England over here. It's great to see them building into a good unit. Sammy gets a lot of stick but I thought he played and captained well yesterday. The Aussies were getting back into it and he changed the bowling, restricting them with himself and Narine.

    I'll be watching closely as it would be great for cricket if your young prospects flurrish. The test series againt the Aussies will be the real test of how far they have come.

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Get Gayle and Pollard in and watch the TV ratings and viewership go through the roof.... Anybody watching in WICB???

  • Ram on March 24, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Maybe, perhaps just maybe, Mr. Pollard is maturing into becoming a dependable all-round cricketer and not just a "vooping wonder". As for Mr. Gayle and others perhaps now is the time to turn a corner and let history decide. A core of good cricketing talent is being assembled and notwithstanding Mr. Gibson's talents as a coach, his efforts at developing a bowling unit are bearing good fruit. The results from this series so far confirms my earlier comment that the Aussies will have a tough time of it batting in the islands. Hopefully this will continue for the tests especially if the WI batting comes to the party.

  • Bunty on March 24, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    What a knock from Pollard! Right through the series Pollard has shown an improved shot selection .This augurs very well for WI I am not sure about other teams though.Other teams will closely monitor his progress. Constant improvement in Adrian and Sammy chipping in and this WI team will be a handful for any opposition. A strong WI is absolutely great for cricket. Great cricket in the square and great fun outside it who cannot like it :)

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    where is Gayle to bring the final touch well done WI

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